Student helps county group review middle school system


February 07, 1996|By Bonita Formwalt | Bonita Formwalt,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

WHEN CORKRAN Middle School Principal Phyllis Cherry was asked to recommend a student for a countywide middle school review committee, she didn't hesitate.

"Ben McFerron was the first one who came to mind," Ms. Cherry said.

Ben joined a group of administrators, teachers, parents and students who began work this week on an extensive evaluation of the middle school system: its curriculum, class size and discipline codes.

Ms. Cherry is confident that Ben, now a Glen Burnie High School student, will rise to the challenge.

"He's bright, articulate and thoughtful with a strong leadership ability," she said. "I'm sure he can handle himself with adults."

Ben's first impressions of the effort were mixed: He was somewhat overwhelmed by the task but anxious to share his opinions.

After a presentation by principals from middle schools in Howard, Harford and Carroll counties, he expressed surprise at how strongly test results from the Maryland School Performance Assessment Program influence the curriculum for a specific school.

"Why is everything based on one test?" he asked. "A lot of time is spent just trying to do better on only one test."

Ben also expressed a guarded opinion about the study group's goal to determine a blanket policy that would work for all schools.

"It's as if everyone was trying to build the ideal middle school," he said. "It's important to set standards high, but it's also important to think about each school."

Ben, the son of Ann and Robert McFerron of Severn, is an honors student, a member of the Student Government Association and a competitive swimmer.

Other student representatives are Jeremy Schropp of Central Middle, JaCina Stanton of Annapolis High School, Amanda Stelljies of Southern Middle and Elizabeth Fowler of Severn Middle.

Ties that bind

Strong family ties to the church of his youth brings the Rev. Richard Thompson back to Glen Burnie United Methodist for a spiritual growth weekend, Feb. 16 to 18.

Mr. Thompson is returning to share a message about his experiences and revelations.

"He was called to the ministry as he grew up here," said the Rev. Olin Herndon, Glen Burnie Methodist pastor.

Mr. Thompson, a retired military chaplain, has two churches in Baltimore and a family counseling practice.

He will join his son Jeff, the church's music director, for a weekend of reflection on the message "Coming Home Again."

The weekend's program will begin at 6 p.m. Feb. 16 with the opening session and dinner.

On Feb. 17, the United Methodist Men will serve breakfast at 8 a.m. The morning session will begin at 8:40 with a dramatic presentation.

Mr. Thompson will be the guest of honor at a youth luncheon at noon. The evening session will begin at 5:30 p.m. with a covered-dish dinner and conclude with Communion in the sanctuary at 8:15 p.m.

Mr. Thompson will address the 8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. Feb. 17 services and conclude his visit with a closing session after the 11 a.m. service.

The community is invited to participate in any or all of the weekend's activities. Advance registration is requested by Sunday.

Glen Burnie United Methodist is at Crain Highway and S.E. Second Avenue. Information: 761-4381.

Sadie Hawkins dance

The Glen Burnie High sophomore class is having a Sadie Hawkins dance from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday in the school cafeteria.

Music will be provided by Davis DJs.

Admission to the semi-formal affair costs $10 for individuals and $15 for couples.

Tickets are being sold during lunch periods. No tickets will be sold at the door.

& Information: 761-8950.

'Friendship Sunday'

The congregation of St. Paul's Lutheran Church is inviting the community to participate this week in "Friendship Sunday."

Services will be at 8 a.m., 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.

The warmth of new and old friends will continue with a presentation at 3:30 p.m. and a covered-dish dinner at 5:30 p.m. The youth of St. Paul's will perform a play.

St. Paul's has a Christian day school, adult education, confirmation classes, camping and Scouting. The church is at 308 Oak Manor Drive. Information: 766-2283.

Theater scenes

Scenes from acting classes and one-act plays will be presented at "An Evening of Theatre" at 7 p.m. tomorrow at Glen Burnie Senior High, 7550 Baltimore-Annapolis Blvd.

The production, directed by Bill Smith, features several works, including a one-act play written by Glen Burnie alumnus Bart Raeke.

Admission costs $4.

& Information: 761-8950.

Warm up with soup

Take the chill off winter Saturday with a bowl of homemade soup at the "Country Soup" sale of the United Methodist Women of Messiah Methodist Church.

Chili and beef barley, navy bean and chicken noodle soup will be served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The cost is $2 a bowl or $4 a quart.

The church is at 7401 Furnace Ave. For information, call Virginia Hann, 761-3575.

Bingo Blast

The Church of the Good Shepherd is having a Bingo Blast at 1 p.m. Sunday.

Admission is $20, which covers dinner and a chance at a $500 jackpot.

The church is at 1451 Furnace Ave. Information: 766-8810.

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